Monday, April 15, 2024

Lindsay Hoyle Fighting For Survival After Controversial Ruling Sparks SNP Fury

Lindsay Hoyle is fighting for survival after SNP and Tory MPs declared they had no confidence in him continuing as Commons Speaker following a day of chaos in parliament.

A total of 33 of them have so far signed an early day motion outlining their opposition to him remaining in post.

Hoyle sparked fury when he ignored convention, and the advice of his officials, by selecting a Labour amendment to an SNP opposition day motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.

Amid remarkable scenes, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt announced after four hours of debate, that the government was withdrawing its own amendment seeking a “humanitarian pause” in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

That led to Tory and SNP MPs walking out of the chamber in protest after it became clear that meant the Scottish nationalists’ motion would not be voted on.

Instead, Labour’s amendment calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” was passed unopposed.

Hoyle eventually re-appeared in the debating chamber to apologise for what had happened, insisting he had taken the unusual step in an attempt to protect MPs from a backlash by pro-Palestine campaigners.

He said: “It was my wish to do the best by every member of this House … because I am very, very concerned about the security of all members.”

The Speaker added: “I regret how it’s ended up. It was not my intention. I wanted all to ensure that they could express their views and all sides of the house could vote.

“As it was, and particularly the SNP, were ultimately unable to vote on their proposition. I am, and I regret, with my sadness that it has ended up in this position. It was never my intention for it to end up like this.

“I was absolutely convinced that the decision was done with the right intentions.”

He admitted the row “has not shown the house at its best”.

“I will reflect on my part,” he said. “I recommit myself that all members of this House are treated fairly. I do not want it to have ended like this.”

Hoyle also said he was “offended” by Tory claims that he had come under pressure from Sue Gray, the former top civil servant who is now Keir Starmer’s chief of staff, to accept the Labour amendment.

He said: “I am honest in this House, I am true to this House and all members of this House, and I try to do what I thought was right for all sides of this House.

“It is regrettable and I apologise for a decision that didn’t end up in the place that I wished for.”

One government minister told HuffPost UK: “The Speaker will not survive. The no confidence motion will get support. He doesn’t have long. MPs are livid.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “Today’s shameful events show Westminster is utterly broken.

“This should have been the chance for the UK Parliament to do the right thing and vote for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel – instead it turned into a Westminster circus.”

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